Mykola Kostenko: "There was no task to win at all costs in friendly matches in Oman"

The head coach of the Ukrainian beach soccer team, Mykola Kostenko, commented on the control matches of our team and the training camp in Oman.

From February 26 to March 3, the Ukrainian beach soccer team was in Muscat at the invitation of the Oman Football Association. During the training session, the wards of Mykola Kostenko and Oleksandr Korniychuk played three friendly matches.

The Ukrainians lost twice to the Oman national team in regular time (5:6 and 2:4) and once — to the Saudi Arabian team in a penalty shootout (3:3, according to pen. — 5:6).

Mykola Kostenko, the coach of the blue and yellow team, summed up the results of the matches and the gathering in Oman for the official UAF website.

"Already on the day of our arrival in Oman, we held an evening training, and from the next day we worked in a two-time mode. The classes were more tactical in nature — they practiced standard positions, interaction in attack, and positional play. On the third day, we already had a match against Oman, and we also practiced in the morning. In general, our classes started around eight in the morning, because during the day it is very hot there, up to 33 degrees. The adaptation process was quite difficult. 

In the first match against the Omanis, we won - 4:2, everything was very easy, we created chances, but then we conceded two unnecessary goals, and the game was even. They took the lead again, but here the referees worked a little in the opponent's hand, they set us a contradictory standard and also showed our player a red card. However, there are no resentments, we played on the road, this is a normal phenomenon. Although, in the end, we lost - 5:6, we were in no way inferior to our opponent and should have won. But this is football. 

The next day they played Oman again, had many chances, but the implementation failed. There are such matches. Here, the fact that the national championship is in full swing played in favor of the home team, so their performers are in game tone, but we lacked a little physical preparation and feeling for the game. In addition, we missed a couple of curious goals. We lost - 2:4, and it should be noted that although the Omanis had fewer opportunities, they took full advantage of them, but we, unfortunately, did not.

Then there was a match against Saudi Arabia, a team slightly weaker than Oman. But the unsatisfactory realization of the moments, of which we had a lot, intervened again. Losing - 0:2, we managed to score three goals in the third half and managed not to realize a few more chances, but they equalized the score. It came to a penalty shootout, and I have never seen such a breakthrough in my memory. There were nine outfield players, except Andriy Borsuk, who had a micro-injury, and two goalkeepers, that is, there were 11 shots! And of them we did not score six times. The goalkeepers in Saudi Arabia turned out to be good, they worked for a shot. And our boys began to perform on technique, and not on strength. Moreover, the power blows all passed, but the accuracy did not. But they have already practiced kicking penalties well...   

We tried to include all the performers who came to this gathering, regardless of whether or not they were successful. In each of the matches, for example, two of our three goalkeepers participated and had a completely equal workload. The same goes for the outfield players, who each got time. In addition, we took to Oman some performers who were not called up to the national team last season, and also gave them a chance. That was one of the tasks — so that the boys could feel the rhythm of the game and have the opportunity to prove themselves, but there was no need to win at all costs. In general, for our coaching staff, this collection became excellent material for further work. Made it possible to understand which of the players we can already count on, and who should still work on their individual qualities. 

Photo of the APFU press service

In general, the coaching staff is satisfied with the trip to Oman. First, the team gathered together, we had the opportunity to conduct theoretical classes before each training session. They discussed the moments of the matches, the game in attack, defense. Secondly, the training process itself was excellent. The boys have adapted, the feeling of sand and the ball has returned to them, this will be XNUMX% beneficial in further work. Thirdly, I would also like to note the conditions of the meeting - they were impeccable. Good food, provision of our training, received us very well.   

It should be noted that we had good support in Oman. There were many of our fans there. These are teachers working in local universities and employees of various Omani companies. They even gave us a small cultural program. Many thanks to them for this!" Mykola Kostenko said.

Photo of the APFU press service

As for the further plans of the Ukrainian beach soccer team in preparation for the season, they are already quite clearly outlined. 

"This week, the final dates for the World Cup qualifying tournament should appear. As soon as we learn about them, we will start planning the dates of the next team meetings. Plus, the Polish national team came to us with a proposal, which we support, to hold two friendly matches at the end of March. They invite us to their arena near Krakow. As for the immediate plans, after a short rest, on Wednesday, we will resume training in Kyiv. This week we will play twice, and next week we will switch to three times," said the head coach of the Ukrainian national team.  

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